Money in a Minute: Headlines for March 7, 2011

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In today's news: Private sector job growth is up, people make crazy tax deductions that the IRS might have a harder time finding this year, spider webs spurred a Mazda recall, and Apple's making nice with recent buyers of the original iPad.

ECONOMY: Employers add 192,000 jobs in February

Job growth is up and unemployment is down a tick to 8.9 percent, the lowest in two years. But that new number hides bad news for government workers: “State and local governments, wrestling with budget shortfalls, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November,” USA Today reports.

TAXES: They tried to deduct what?!

People try some crazy tax deductions, apparently including underwear, Scientology classes, and prostitutes. On that last, “A lawyer from New York kept track of his visits with prostitutes in a journal and tried to deduct their ‘services’ as medical expenses,” CNN Money reports. Guess what the IRS said.

GOVERNMENT: IRS chief tells U.S. lawmakers House’s spending cuts would help tax cheats

Funny enough, the government might have a harder time finding those weird deductions next year, according to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. That’s because the Republican-controlled House is proposing budget cuts that will force the IRS “to make substantial immediate cuts to its enforcement programs,” Bloomberg reports.

CARS: Spider weaves web of worry for Mazda

If spiders crawling out of the inside of your car sounds like a nightmare, it is – for Mazda. The company is recalling 50,000 vehicles from the 2009-2010 model years because “in one of the cases, a spider web was found in the vent” connected to the fuel tank system, and that “could lead to a crack, causing fuel leakage and the risk of a fire,” MSNBC reports.

TECH: Get a $100 refund on recent iPad purchases

If you bought a first-generation iPad in the past three weeks and feel suckered by the price drop, Apple will make it up to you. CNN Money reports, “The company will be refunding customers the $100 difference” between the old price and the new price, lowered with the unveiling of the iPad 2.

Stacy Johnson

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